Winter sports: Skier Lindsey Vonn wants to race in men's World Cup downhill
Geneva • Lindsey Vonn wants to challenge the men's downhill skiers in a World Cup race next month, though her wish still needs the support of the United States team and Alpine skiing's governing body.
The U.S. ski federation said Monday that it had not had a "formal discussion" about the possibility of its star racer challenging the men Nov. 24 in Lake Louise, Alberta.
Vonn, the women's Olympic downhill champion, has written the International Ski Federation to ask whether she can make the historic start at a venue where she has earned nine of her 26 World Cup downhill victories. The Canadian course often dubbed "Lake Lindsey" for her dominance there stages women's races, including two downhills, the following weekend.
FIS, however, can't make a decision on Vonn until the U.S. ski team makes a formal request to let the part-time Park City resident enter.
"There's not anything to say until we have a proposal from the national association," FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis said Monday.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association would need to submit a request before the decision-making FIS Council next meets Nov. 3-4 in Oberhofen, Switzerland but has yet to decide whether to do so.
"We clearly have great respect for Lindsey, her accomplishments in the sport and her desire to seek this new challenge," Tom Kelly, vice president of communications for the U.S.S.A., said in a statement. "But we have not had any formal discussion yet between Lindsey and FIS."
A FIS rule limiting athletes' access to extra training time on slopes so close to race days also counts against Vonn's chances. If Vonn participates in the men's training and races at Lake Louise, rules would ban her from the subsequent women's races two downhills and a super-G for having gained an unfair advantage in familiarizing herself with the slope.